Shrinkage in the UK cattle herd

Report by AHDB This reflects that the UK cattle herd has seen a year-on-year contraction of 0.8%, which reflects that the UK cattle herd has seen a year-on-year contraction of 0.8% The biggest decline in more than a decade. In addition, the number of females of reproductive age for meat recorded its largest decline in more than a decade in 2023.

Data released by the BCMS (British Livestock Movement Service) on October 1 shows that prime cattle for beef production increased by 1.3% year-on-year. However, anxiety arises when A A 4.3% year-on-year decrease in the number of calves under six months old.

Furthermore, the UK breeding herd continues to decline, with a 1.9% decline in 2023, Scotland is the most affected region, with a decrease of 2.4%..

The challenge of the coming years

The change in livestock demographics is also reflected in the growth of dairy herds in Northern Ireland and Scotland, which is outpacing the decline in England and Wales. Regarding livestock farming, records The production of calves for meat decreased by 2.7% year-on-yearand is more evident in the reduction of male dairy calves.

The annual difference between a dairy herd and a beef herd in the UK.

Decrease in the breeding herd This is mainly due to the shrinkage of the calf herdIt is especially noticeable in beef cattle with a decrease of 3.8%. On the other hand, the total number of dairy cows remains relatively stable, representing 57% of the total breeding herd as of June 1, 2023.

The report highlights that shrinkage in breeding herds could outpace current vaccination trends, potentially impacting cow supply. Although numbers of cattle between 12 and 30 months of age indicate stable supplies in the short term, factors such as Feed pressure and high feed costs It could affect supply in 2024.

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Sacha Woodward

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